Schengen visa online application form and requirements

NAME : Axel Strauss 
DATE: Dec. 19, 2023 

On June 14th, 1985, five European nations decided to make travel within their borders a little easier by signing the Schengen Agreement. This, in turn, led to the creation and subsequent growth of the Schengen Area. Today, not all European nations are part of the Schengen Zone, but the most popular tourist destinations are. And if you plan on visiting them from outside the Schengen Zone, you might need a Schengen Visa. Getting one, meanwhile, has traditionally required a lot of paperwork for all parties involved — not to mention some light, pre-Europe traveling for the applicant. 

Fortunately though, on November 13th, 2023, the European Council officially announced that it will soon digitize the whole process. And so, if you now happen to find yourself asking “Can I get a Schengen visa online?” — AXA has all you need to know below. 

How do I get a Schengen e-Visa?

While the electronic Schengen visa is still very much in the works, the European Council did lay out a few of the details that should —in theory —make everyone’s lives a bit easier. 

First and foremost, it plans to create an EU visa application platform that will process all future applications for Schengen visas (in theory, and with “a few exceptions”*). 

This means that to apply, you will no longer need to appear at the consulate of your destination country in person. Instead, you’ll simply enter your relevant data, upload electronic copies of your documents, and pay the relevant visa fees — all from the comfort of your screen! All this will likely include an online application form for your Schengen visa too. 

PRO-TIP: Meanwhile, you can learn how to fill out the traditional one here

PRO-TIP 2: And AXA can also help you learn exactly what other documents you’ll need to apply here

*The European Council adds that “In principle, in-person appearance will only be necessary for first-time applicants, people whose biometric data are no longer valid, and people with a new travel document.” 

Meanwhile, the traditional visa sticker that goes in your passport will be replaced with a cryptographically signed barcode (i.e., a digital signature). 

Back in June 2023, when the rules for the digitization of the process were first agreed upon, Swedish Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard explained: “The digital visa will make the application process easier for travelers, simplifies the administrative procedure and increases the security of the Schengen area by for example reducing the risk of falsification and theft of the visa sticker.

How long does it take to get a Schengen visa online?

Traditionally speaking, it takes about 15 days to process your Schengen visa application. In certain cases, however, it can take up to two months.

 And the Council did not specify whether there would be any changes in wait times with their new platform just yet either. However, not scheduling and attending an appointment with a consulate and/or visa application center (Iike VFS Global) should definitely speed things up!

How much does an online Schengen visa cost?

The same goes for costs — as in, no word on any changes from the Council just yet. And, currently, Schengen visa costs are universal no matter where you are in the world. 

  • A Schengen visa for one adult costs €80. 
  • For children between the ages of 6 and 12 — 40€. 
  • And children under 6 can get a Schengen visa for free.* 

*In certain cases, the visa fee may also be waived for: 

  • participants in certain seminars, conferences, sporting, cultural, and/or educational events (25yo or under); 
  • students/teachers on study and/or training trips; 
  • certain professionals traveling for scientific research. 

However, with the traditional Schengen visa application process, there are usually extra administrative and/or service fees associated with a visa center, consulate, and/or the respective officials. And these (and the initial Visa fee) are usually not reimbursed if your visa is refused. 

But with everything going online — there’s a good chance that most (or at least some) of these will be abolished too. So let’s hope for the best!

What are the 4 types of Schengen visas?

As far as the Schengen visa itself, there seem to be no big changes planned. There are currently four basic types of Schengen visa: short-stay (aka the “tourist visa,” and the most common one), business, work, and student

If you’re planning on being in and out of Europe a lot, you can also opt for a multiple-entry visa. And if you have a partner living and/or working in the Schengen Zone, you have a few different options

AXA can help you learn more about each Schengen visa type — and the differences between them — here.

Which is the fastest Schengen visa to obtain?

The wait times between types of visas don’t really discriminate — with 15 days being the average for any Schengen visa processing.

What about ETIAS?

You may have heard of ETIAS at this point too. If not — the European Travel Information and Authorization System is a new system of requirements for entering Europe that the EU is currently working on too. ETIAS has been postponed a number of times since 2016. And, in theory, it’s currently set to go into effect in 2025. 

ETIAS is not the same thing as a Schengen Visa. And while it’s unclear which of the two online systems the EU will have up and running first, AXA can help you learn more about ETIAS here

IMPORTANT NOTE: AXA continues to do our best to bring you the latest news regarding travel requirements to Europe. But it’s still best to double-check with your destination country’s official consulate/embassy website. And remember to consult the official website of the European Union just in case too.

What to expect with the Schengen e-Visa

As you can imagine, digitizing the Schengen visa application process is no easy feat. And until the proposed platform goes live, the specific details about the Schengen eVisa remain vague. 
Here’s what the Council does have to say as of late 2023: “Following signature, the two regulations will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the twentieth day after publication. The date of application of the new rules will be decided when technical work on the visa platform and the digital visa has been concluded.” 

One thing, however, is clear: it’s a very exciting time in the history of both the Schengen countries and millions of travelers near and far! So stay tuned, keep your ears to the ground, and check back with AXA — as well as with the official source (i.e., the European Council’s Official Press Release page) — for the latest developments.

How can AXA help?

And in the meantime, AXA’s here for you in all sorts of well-tested ways — and already completely online, mind you. 
First off, we can help you figure out whether you need a Schengen visa or not in the first place. If you do, we’ll gladly guide you through the application for the application process for a non-electronic Schengen visa too. 
And what we do best will both help you with a crucial step in your Schengen Visa application process and make sure you’re in good hands throughout your upcoming trip to Europe. And that is — provide you with affordable and comprehensive Schengen travel insurance. 

Whether electronically or not, travel insurance is mandatory when applying for a Schengen visa. Fear not — AXA’s Schengen travel insurance plans meet all the necessary requirements. 

An AXA plan can (already) be easily purchased online — from anywhere in the world, and in a matter of minutes. 

The AXA travel insurance certificate is accepted by all 27 Schengen countries’ embassies and consulates. 

Moreover, the AXA certificate can be downloaded and printed online instantly too. And, therefore, uploaded (once the new EU platform is up and running). 

And if your visa application is denied — AXA will refund your travel insurance fees in most circumstances. We’ll only ask that you provide official documentation explaining why your visa was refused from the relevant embassy, consulate, visa application center, and/or the online Schengen Visa platform (in theory). 

And, finally, an AXA travel insurance plan will help guarantee your Eurotrip is as safe as possible — no matter how you get your Schengen visa. 

So learn more about and compare each of our 3 unique plans here. They’ll help guarantee your future Eurotrip is as stress-free and safe as possible — no matter how you get your Schengen visa. 


Can I work or study with a Schengen visa?

The tourist (or Type C) allows visitors to enter the Schengen Zone for a short business trip, a holiday, or to visit family members. However, it cannot be converted into a work or study permit. But you do have other options, and AXA can tell you more about what they are.

Can I extend my Schengen visa?

You can, but only in exceptional circumstances. AXA can tell you more about that too, here.

What if my Schengen visa application is rejected?

If your application is rejected, you usually have two options — apply again, or write a letter of appeal. You can learn more in the EU’s Article 32(3) of the Visa Code of the Schengen Agreement.

Are the Schengen Zone and the European Union the same thing?

No. While both the EU and the Schengen Zone have 27 countries each (located mostly within Europe), these are not all the same countries, and these two entities are not the same thing. You can learn more here.


No. As of 2022, all travel restrictions implemented to control the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted in both the EU and the Schengen Zone.